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tv   CNN Newsroom  CNN  December 16, 2012 7:00pm-8:00pm PST

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good evening, everyone, it is 10:00 here in newtown connecticut, the end of a harrowing week for this town or
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any town. there are many difficult days, weeks and months ahead. starting tomorrow, parents will begin burying their children, trying to imagine -- it's almost unthinkable. it's impossible to find the words. all the words that we can say in this hour are going to seem so small, the face of the tragedy that has occurred here. now, is a time to lean on one another or the parents and the loved ones and the families here to be the ones to lean on. they came together for a convince il, crowding into the local high school just behind me. the local high school auditorium to listen to spiritual leader offering any words of comfort they could. president obama spoke as well and said that we as a nation are simply not doing enough to keep our children safe. he promised to work, to put an end to future tragedies like this one. we'll play you his call for action shortly. but we don't want to focus on the killer. for the last several days we haven't said his name.
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i don't want history to remember him. we and the people here want you to remember the teachers and childrens and those whose lives have been so unfortunately taken. people with hopes, dreams and stories. even though 20 of those stories had just begun. we're learning more about their lives from parents and friends and local and national papers and local blogs. if you remember after the shooting in aurora, there was a vigil in aurora colorado. every time somebody's name was read, the crowd said back, we will remember, with that in mind tonight, i thought we'd just take a few moments to review the names of each and every fallen child and every grown-up and tell you what we can about their lives. charlotte bacon, 6 years old. we will remember her. she was wearing a new pink dress and boots, a holiday outfit. charlotte begged her mom to wear
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it to school that day. her big brother was also at school that day, but we're told he made it to safety. her uncle says she could light up a room. we'll also remember daniel barden, 7 years old. he was a budding athlete. he swam, played soccer, was missing two front teeth. his family called him fearless. we will remember olivia engel as well, just six years old, she played tennis and soccer. was a ballet dancer and a patient big sister to her 3-year-old brother. she loved school, colors pink and purple and was going to be an angel in the nativity play scheduled for just last night. we will remember 7-year-old josephine gay as well. she turned 7 on tuesday. she too loved the color purple. her neighbors are hanging purple balloons from mailboxes and fences in her memory. we will remember her.
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we'll also remember ana marquez-greene, 6 years old. she grew up with music in her ears, her dad plays jazz saxophone and flute. he wrote a song about her entitled ana grace. we'll also remember dylan hockley, he too was just 6 years old. he came from england, moving here two years ago. his mom recently calling the area a wonderful place to live with incredible neighbors and wonderful schools. we will remember dylan. we'll also remember 6-year-old madeleine hsu, a neighbor's son who shared rides to school with her, remembers her as a kind, sweet and wonderful girl. we'll remember catherine violet hubbard, also just 6. she loved animals. instead of flowers, her family
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is requesting donations be made to the newtown animal shelter, that's probably what she would have wanted. we will remember her. we will remember 7-year-old chase kowalski, for his love of outdoor sports and his talent for them. he just won his first mini-triathlon. he was always outside riding his bike. we will remember chase. we will remember 6-year-old jesse lewis was learning how to ride a horse. it was only natural, his family had five of them. two miniatures, three dogs, a flock of chickens. he loved to tell stories and lived life brave and true. we will remember. we'll also remember 6-year-old james. he's being remembered as a sweetheart of a kid with such an innocent face. a face that we and they and everyone should remember.
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we'll remember the face of 7-year-old grace mcdonnell. the neighbor describes it as the face of an angel. she was her mother's little best friend. her family in a brief statement saying, our daughter grace was the love and light of our family. words cannot adequately express our sense of loss. we too will remember grace. and we'll also remember emilie parker, just 6 years old. she was a mentor to her two younger sisters ages three and four. her father says when they needed comfort they looked to emilie. they will remember her and so will we. we will remember another 6-year-old, jack pinto he loved wrestling. he and his team were scheduled to compete this weekend in a match against the new jersey wrestling club.
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we'll remember him. there's so many people to remember, we'll remember noah pozner, 6 years old, smart as a whip according to his uncle. he loved reading and figuring things out. noah's twin sister was at school on friday, the two were said to be inseparable. she survived, he did not. we'll remember 6-year-old caroline for a time referred to as boo because she resembled the little girl from "monsters inc." we will remember jessica rekos. she want eed cowgirl boots for christmas. we'll remember avielle richman. she was excited because she was about to lose her first tooth. benjamin wheeler's birth led his
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family here to town. they moved out of new york to some place quiet. he was also 6 years old. we'll remember allison wyatt, also 6 years old. none of the children were older than 7. we'll remember rachel davino, anne marie murphy. we will remember her and so will this community. we'll remember 30-year-old lauren russeau who wanted to be a teacher before she even started kindergarten. she was a full time substitute at sandy hook. we'll remember mary sherlach, the proud mother of two young daughters. we will remember victoria soto. no one in this town will ever
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forget victoria soto, she died trying to protect the lives of her first graders. she was the oldest of four children. and, of course, the school principal dawn hochsprung. even little kids know when someone cares about them, and that was her. we will remember her as we remember all 26 lives lost in that school that day. 26 lives cut short friday morning at sandy creek elementary school here in newtown, connecticut. newtown is now the nation's heartache. it is our open wound. a whole so large that we're not sure god can fill it. something to hope for. his hope is, everyone's hope, as wez bring you some moments from tonight's vigil, starting with first responders coming into the auditorium to a round of applau
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applause. [ applause ] ♪ >> we gather here in memory of 20 beautiful children and 6 remarkable adults. they lost their lives in a school. it could have been any school. in a quiet town full of good and decent people. that could be any town in america. here in newtown, i come to offer the love and prayers of a nation. i am very mindful that mere words cannot match the depths of your sorrow. nor can they heal your wounded hearts. i can only hope it helps for you to know that you're not alone in
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your grief that our world too has been torn apart. that all across this land of ours, we have wept with you. we've pulled our children tight. and you must know that whatever measure of comfort we can provide, we will provide. >> with me now are two clergy members who spoke at the vigil. senior minister of the newtown congregational church. what do you want to come out of this? what do you want people to know? >> i'm hoping, anderson, this will be the tipping point in our country. i feel that children are inundated with the culture of violence from a very young age. from the toys that we play with to the movies that we see and the tv that we see.
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that we can do better, and we can make games that are exciting that have a positive objective. and we really need to do that, because i think it's too commonplace, the violent reaction. of course, the individual is deranged but there's a part of me that thinks if we had more of a culture of peace that these kind of events would be less likely to happen. >> what are you hoping comes out of this? >> well, i'm hoping for our community that the community grows even closer and stronger. i know people have spoken about how close and strong it was before. but as you know, a tragedy like this, we're very vulnerable. but i also have hope that we can become stronger and closer and care for one another in deeper ways. >> it's extraordinary just the last couple days, i've been here. complete strangers come up to one another on the street and are hugging and sharing, sharing their hearts with each other. >> there's an outpouring.
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not only in the town, but for people around the world. and -- but that will slowly dissipate. and the attention will disappear from this place, and we'll be returning to lives that are supposed to be normal. for many people, they won't feel normal again. how do we make those lives feel connected and closer and cared for, and vibrant? because we don't want this event to zee fine the spirit of our faith communities, the spirit of this community. we want people to know that there is something more, something hopeful, something that we can even become more compassionate, more caring, some of the things that we just talked about, how we see people not just here in town, but in the world. >> i've seen representatives and remembers on the stage. it was a powerful moving statement. what do you -- how -- there's so
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many parents around the world who are following this, who don't know what to say to their children, don't know how to explain it. how do you council somebody. what do you say to them? >> you mean, around the country? >> yeah, or here, anywhere. >> we have young ones too, we have first graders, we want them to know that something bad happened. we have to tell them something. we haven't said anything yet. it's very unusual and the bad man can't hurt anybody any more. that's how we would, as first graders we would approach that. and we just need to work to make our community better, and not to be afraid. you're safe. >> no doubt you've had to council people who have lost loved ones, what do you say in that -- is there anything to say? >> there are things to say, but i think often times we're inclined to want to say things first. i think listening is the first response, is to listen to people's grief, listen to what
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they're -- even if they can't articulate not coming in thinking that a certain word, phrase or even people of faith, certain scriptures will just solve or heal instantly. but those words of scripture, those words are significant. but realizing that we have to continue to listen and to find appropriate ways with them to find expression and a meaning that come out of our traditions. folks i council in my own tradition. that would be what i drop on. >> the loss of a child is something -- that pain never goes away. >> it's really horrible. and when you see the parents wailing like that, you realize, that's how we would be if we were there too. these are all of our children. and so -- i think matt said it very well, you take your cues, some people will like a
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theological explanation. noah's mother, i told her this morning, where is the 6-year-old inside of you ready to go? and she said, well, it's still in me. in a sense,here's a spiritual idea that there is no doubt, there's a transformation, as we, through nation grow our 6-year-old is still surrounded by the greater aspect of ourselves as we grow and mature. and so it's a leap of faith to say after we leave our body that we become part of a greater matrix or a greater motif in the universe. >> i appreciate both of you for being with us tonight, but also just being on the stage and what you said, i thought it was extraordinarily powerful. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> wish you the best. when we come back, remembering principal dawn hochsprung. i'm with her husband and children. we'll be right back. this family used capital one venture miles
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the principal who -- god bless her lost her life. she was a very special person. and you will the parents knew that. >> the principal of sandy hook elementary was respected and admired by the teachers and parents and loved by the students as well. dawn hochsprung was her name, she became principal two years ago, she was a mom of one of the first graders, she never saw her without a smile, on that awful day at that school who survived, say dawn died protecting them, confronting the gunman herself. it was a terrible loss of a beloved principal, more importantly, of a wife, mother
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and grandmother. tonight her daughter posted this picture on twitter of president obama holding dawn hochsprung's granddaughter. my mom would be so proud to see president obama holding her daughter. but not as proud as i am about her. gary tuchman spoke to the family about what a wonderful woman she was. >> reporter: she was quite a bit younger than her husband george, when they got married ten years ago, george was marrying his boss. >> she was an assistant principal at our school, and i was a 7th grade math teacher at that time. and i just fell in love with her. >> george made the big decision, the time had come to propose. >> she turned me down five times. >> you asked her to marry you, but she turned you down? >> five times. >> what about the sixth time?
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>> the sixth time i waited until it was not such rough sailing. we got married on the swoop out of mystic. beth, amy and ann are george's daughters from his first marriage. erica is dawn's daughter from her first marriage. her other daughter was out while we were at the house. they're a blended but very close family with 11 grandchildren. >> we built this beautiful house in the adirondacks, the dream was -- it was going to be dawn's house, because i was going to die. i'm much older than dawn. it was going to be her house and the children and grandchildren could use the house on the lake. there would be rooms down stairs for kids. it was going to be dawn's house ultimately with all the children. all the children. and now it's me. i can't -- i don't think i can do that.
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>> i want to reiterate to you, george, have you these beautiful daughters and son in laws and grandchildren, and everyone will be here to take care of you, is that right, ladies? >> my job has always been to take care of other people? >> it's all right if some people take care of you for a while? >> no one takes care of me. >> stop being so stubborn. >> in the middle of the day friday, this is how george found out what happened. >> one of the kids came up with a computer and said, something's happening at sandy hook school and your wife's been killed. >> george raced out of school and into a nightmare, like all the families of victims theyen watt to know more. and on this day they have learned more. two teachers who survived said they were having a meeting with dawn when the shots rang out. >> she put herself in jeopardy, and i have been angry about that
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until the two women i met today, she told them to run to shelter when she confronted the gunman. she could have avoided that. she couldn't, i knew she wouldn't. i'm not angry any more. i'm not angry, i'm just very sad. they said, we were at the meeting, there were gunshots. somebody shot the window, somebody came in, into the -- not into the office, but into the building, the foyer of the building. dawn told us to go hide, and she and at least one other teacher ran out and actually tried to subdue the killer. i don't know where that comes
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from, dawn was all of 5'2". >> everyone here is proud, no one more so than erica, who said her mom was always there for her daughters. >> every game, practice, she was there. dance competition, she was doing homework on the bleachers, but she was there. and she was my rock, my rock. >> and now she is a hero too. >> the final thing i want to ask you is, what would you say to your mom right now? >> come back. just come back. >> gary tuchman joins me now live. i guess some people don't understand why people would talk at a time like this. what i found is often times people want you to know about their loved one. want you to know about the life they lived, not just how their life ended. >> that's right, anderson. and they are such a wonderful
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and amazing family. we're so grateful they let us into their home on aday like this. it's very important for them to stay close and stay united. that's what will give them strength. of the five daughters, two of them live in connecticut. one lives in pennsylvania, one in new hampshire, one lives in london, they plan to stay together for a long time to give their father george strength. they have a happy event coming up in july. she's getting married in july. they all believe that their mother's spirit will be there with them at the wedding ceremony in july. anderson? >> appreciate the reporting, thank you very much. a kindergarten teacher at sandy hook elementary school. she joins me live. i spoke to you on the phone friday. i've been thinking about you all weekend. i think heroes are teachers every day around the country. i find -- i just think what you did was so heroic. you -- explain again, you heard -- you knew something was going wrong.
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how? >> well, i mean we were in our classroom, we heard what sounded like gunshots, noises. >> you heard that -- >> well, there was a loud speaker, the pa system was not working in the way it normally is, you don't usually hear things unless someone makes an announcement. there were noises that didn't sound correct. there was no one telling us it was a drill. we took the children and went into a lockdown, we go to a certain place in the room. we pull the blinds down, we lock the classroom doors and we cover the window at the door. >> this is something you had practiced. >> about a month or so before, dawn makes sure we do that. and we go to a safe place and typically when it's a drill they tell us, okay, and we even exit the building following a certain path. if there was an emergency we would go down to the sandy hook firehouse and gather there, which is what we did that day. we knew that -- >> but you sat the kids down.
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>> we sat in the cubby area, away from the door so no one could see us, read them a story, talked to them. they kept saying how come we're here for so long. well, it will be a little longer. when they're five you do whatever you can to keep them safe and calm. >> the courage for you to be able to just sit there and read a story and keep them calm. >> i think the adrenaline kicks in and you do what you have to do. there were two other people in the room that were helping me with pulling down the blinds and that, i was focused on the kids. and just keeping them safe. i'm not about to tell them that i think something is very bad or very wrong. we waited and waited. it seemed like a very long time. maybe it was 20 minutes a half hour, i'm not sure. there were knocks at the door. it was police, someone telling us that we had to leave. didn't want to open the door at first, but we did. they said, have the children walk hold hands, cover their
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eyes if they could -- he didn't say why, he just said have them do it. at 5 it's not so easy to close your eyes and walk. so i had them look toward the wall. i said, remember the adventure we had. we're going to do that again. >> how are you holding up? >> again, adrenaline. you are moving, you know you have to get to safety. i didn't know what the situation was occurring, we didn't have any information. >> how are you holding up now? >> how am i holding up now? >> you knew some of the kids? >> ten of them. ten of them were in my class last year. i want to attend some of the services, i'm sure some families
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want privacy. there's a few children who i've had not just them, i've had their siblings and in one case, i've had all three. so our families were close -- at sandy hook school we're a tight knit group and we know -- and i live in the community also, so -- >> and dawn and all the others. obviously -- what do you want people to know about them, about this kmoont. >> i want them to be able to come back to school. i don't know if we'll come back to sandy hook school. i hear we're going to be possibly moved to another building somewhere else. we need to get the kids back in school. we need to see them. it was helpful tonight to see some of the families and give them a hug. they're calling us all heroes. we don't feel like that. i was able to tell everybody in my class, your kids are safe. that made me feel good. >> you're a hero to me and i think to a lot of people. i appreciate you talking to me. >> thank you.
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okay. >> amazing. coming up, we want to play you more of president obama's speech at the memorial service tonight. at one point the president asking if we can honestly say we're doing enough to keep our children safe from harm. >> we say we're truly doing enough to give all the children of this country the chance they deserve to live out their lives in happiness and with purpose. i've been reflecting on this the last few days. if we're honest with ourselves, the answer is no. we're not doing enough. stand. at usaa, we know military life is different. we've been there. that's why every bit of financial advice we offer is geared specifically to current and former military members and their families. [ laughs ] dad! dad! [ applause ] ♪ [ male announcer ] life brings obstacles.
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usaa brings advice. call or visit us online. we're ready to help.
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we want to share a video with you. it's video all parents take of their children. a video chronicling the sweet moments, the small moments making up childhood. it's a video of a child who died in this tragedy. her name ana marquez-greene.
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her brother isiah was also at the school, he was not harmed. ana's father gave us permission to show this video. otherwise we wouldn't show it. they want you to see her as she was, singing and praising god. tonight we remember ana, we remember all the children. >> come now all mighty king. ♪ come now all mighty king ♪ ♪
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>> it's been an incredibly emotional night here in newtown connecticut, as it has been the last several nights as the community came together. president obama met with victim's families and spoke at the service. we want to play you more of what he said tonight with sincere hope that his words came as some small measure of comfort tonight. >> this is our first task, caring for our children. it's our first job. if we don't get that right, we don't get anything right. that's how, as a society, we will be judged. and by that measure, can we truly say as a nation that we're
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meeting our obligations? can we honestly say that we're doing enough to keep our children, all of them safe from harm? >> i've been reflecting on this the last few days, if we're honest with ourselves, the answer is no. we're not doing enough. and we will have to change. since i've been president, this is the fourth time we have come together to comfort a grieving community torn apart by mass shootings. fourth time we've hugged survivors. fourth time we've consoled the families of victims. and in between there have been a series of shootings, daily reports of victims, many of them
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children, in small towns and big cities all across america. victims whose much of the time they're only fault was being in the wrong place at the wrong time. we can't tolerate this any more. these tragedies must end. and to end them we must change. we will be told that the causes of such violence are complex and that is true. no single law, no set of laws can eliminate evil from the world or prevent every senseless act of violence in our society. but that can't be an excuse for inaction. surely we can do better than this. if there's even one step we can take to save another child or
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another parent or another town from the grief that's visited tucson and aurora and eau creek and newtown and communities before that, then surely we have an obligation to try. in the coming weeks i'll use whatever power this office holds to engage my fellow citizens from law enforcement to mental health professionals to parents and educators in an effort aimed at preventing more tragedies like this. because what choice do we have. we can't accept eventses like this as rioutine. are we really prepared to say that we're powerless in the face
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of such carnage? that the politics are too hard? are we prepared to say that such violence visited on our children year after year after year is somehow the price of our freedom? >> president obama earlier tonight speaking to high school just behind us. wolf blitzer now joins me live. i was wondering about your thoughts while listening to the president. >> he did tonight what he didn't do the earlier times, he tried to comfort the nation. he specifically promised that he was going to take steps. he didn't go into details, take steps to try to make sure that these senseless killings don't happen again, even if you can save a few lives. obviously what he's referring to is legislation dealing with gun control. >> and also mental health issues. >> i think there's a lot of things you can potentially do. there will be a political fight. obviously the house of representatives in the senate, there are no guarantees.
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he did make that commitment, he promised he was going to do, and i think mayor bloomberg of new york wants him to do, not just talk a little bit, but start taking action. >> it's something he had talked about before becoming president. >> he didn't just have problems with republicans who are opposed to stricter gun control. there are plenty of democrats out there, they think it's such a losing issue. he has a lot of other issues, he has a fiscal cliff. i think he's going to deal with this -- you know, he's in his second term, he doesn't the have to worry about getting re-elected. i don't know if he'll succeed. i've been in washington a long time, gun control is an issue. i think he's going to try. >> a crime like this has shocked the nation. whether it leads to change, we'll have to see. on the mental health issues. you and sanjay were talking
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about this earlier, mental health is oddly dealt with in this country. it's not dealt with or considered in the same way as a disease like cancer. >> tipper gore, remember tipper gore, she dealt with this issue, and tried to bring it to the forefront but it's sort of gone away. gun control is important, but mental health, dealing with this, and taking it out of the back rows and dealing with it, if a loved one sees a young kid who has some problems, not just pretend they don't exist, there are medical treatments. >> and also often times parents can't get help unless the child can be proven to be a danger to themselves or others. and that often waits until a crime is committed. >> and we don't know enough about the shooter in this case, we don't know what kind of individuals this individual may or may not have had. we don't know what kind of treatment he may or may not have had. i suspect we're going to learn a lot more. victoria soto is being remembered as a hero as well.
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she died friday morning trying to protect her first grade students. just head you're going to hear from nicole and steven whose daughter was in the classroom across the hall. their daughter who survived and is okay. was a student of victoria soto's last year. they believe she's alive tonight because of victoria soto. this holiday, share everything.
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take a boat ride, go fishing or just lay in the sun. we've got coastline to explore and wildlife to photograph. and there's world class dining with our world famous seafood. so for a great vacation this year, come to the gulf. its all fabulous but i give florida the edge. right after mississippi. you mean alabama. say louisianor there's no dessert. this invitation is brought to you by bp and all of us who call the gulf home. it's important to remember there were hundreds of children inside sandy hook elementary school friday morning. their parents raced to the scene desperate to find their sons and daughters. nicole and steven maddox lived through that panic. their daughter jordan is a second grader, thankfully they
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found her safe. her classroom was just across the hall from victoria soto's first grade classroom. victoria soto died trying to save her students. she is 27 years old and is being remembered tonight as a hero. i spoke a short time ago to nicole and steven maddox. >> how are you guys holding up, how is jordan holding up? >> i think we're doing okay. we haven't had a chance to process everything. we're trying to be there for her, and support her, and help her to deal with this in her own way and own time. she's doing okay, it's just the nighttime i think is when she really starts to reflect on everything that happened. >> there's so many parents around, not only this town, but around the world who are trying to figure out how to talk to their kids about it, how do you -- do you wait for jordan to say something to you? how do you deal with it? >> i think that's kind of what we've been doing. just because who knows how to deal with something like this.
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as things come up, she asks questions, you answer them calmly. what has -- >> what did she see, do you know? >> or hear? >> we've been getting the story slowly from her. the first time she told us the story, she told us about hearing the gunshots. her classroom is right behind the principal's office and the conference room that i understand some of the folks were in. >> she was right across the hall from victoria soto's class? >> which is something she was excited about, she would be going just across the hall from her favorite teacher. they spoke almost daily. and that was the hardest thing to have to tell her. that's when she really broke down. she had been handling most of it okay, but when we told her about miss soto that's when she took it the hardest. >> she knows she's dead? >> she knows now. we waited. we told her saturday morning.
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>> how do you say that to a 6-year-old? >> we just explained to her, you know what happened yesterday. and honestly she saw enough to understand that there were people that didn't walk out of there alive. >> she saw somebody laying there? >> she saw the principal, yeah. they had to walk the children out through the front door where her classroom is located. she walked past the body. although they told them to close their eyes, i think some of them were kind of peeking as kids have a tendency to do. >> she saw the principal on the floor? >> she saw the principal, she saw blood, she told us about a lot of broken glass. >> so when you actually told her that her former teacher had died, how do you explain that? >> unfortunately, it's very simple. it's -- we calm said, jordan,
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she was one of the teachers who passed away. she had a moment where she paused and her eyes got real wide, and she just -- you could see her heart sink. and -- >> does a 6-year-old know -- i mean, my dad died when i was 10. i'm not sure looking back on it, that i understood fully what that meant at the time. >> i think children are resilient and they can hear the cold hard truth of something and take that in. it may take years to process, but my advice to parents is don't try to cover it up or -- when death happens or horrible things happen, you have to find a way to explain it to your
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children. in a lot of ways, it's life. this is the world we live in. and there's evil and hiding that does not help them at all. >> she must have -- i think the ultimate reality -- she looked at us and said, who am i going to talk to every day? i said there are other teachers you can talk to. she said yeah, but she was really funny. >> what was it about her? >> she was a kind individual, you can tell she had a heart for her children, each and every one of them. she meant business, which we loved. >> she was youthful. our first teacher conference i felt like an old man. she seemed barely out of high school herself. it's just a testament to her personality. >> very mature. she was a great teacher and she put everything into what she
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did. the kids enjoyed learning. there wasn't a day that jordan said i don't want to go to school. there were times it seemed like after a weekend she was excited to go back. that told us she had a really good teacher. somebody who was doing their job and doing it well. >> thank you for talking to us. i know it's not easy, i appreciate it. >> thank you. >> i wish you peace in the days ahead. >> thank you. coming up, you're going to hear from a sunday schoolteacher here in newtown, who's trying to help her young students deal with this tragedy. we'll be right back. [ male announcer ] this is joe woods' first day of work. and his new boss told him two things -- cook what you love, and save your money. joe doesn't know it yet, but he'll work his way up from busser to waiter to chef before opening a restaurant specializing in fish and game from the great northwest. he'll start investing early, he'll find some good people to help guide him, and he'll set money aside from his first day of work to his last,
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she was the type of person that could light up the room. she always had something kind to say about anybody. her love and the strength that she gave us, and the example that she showed us is remarkable. she is an incredible person. and i'm so blessed to be her dad. >> that was robbie parker talking about his daughter emilie who was 6 years old, she died on saturday. the family meeting tonight with president obama at the school. from the president of the united states, friends or houses of worship here, members of this community are seeking solace all weekend. this morning, some of the children survived the shooting, went to sunday school just like
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they did every week, it sounds like a simple thing, wasn't simple or easy for anyone. not for the children or their teacher. >> reporter: this is where some of the children who were killed at sandy hook elementary prayed and went to sunday school. she was back on this sunday for all her students, including those who survived. >> you had a lot of children here in this room, what was that like for you. >> it was a little bit -- it was very scary, because i spent yesterday trying to prepare for today. but you don't know what's going to happen. and right in the middle a child raised their hand. i said yes, and they said, my friends died. later on when we got to the point where we prayed, pretty much every child in here had a prayer, and many of them were my friend jack died, my friend ben died, my friend charlotte died.
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we prayed, we probably prayed more than we've ever prayed before. >> she knew there would be anxiety among the children and their parents. she saw both. >> we were a little worried. we had kids whose parents said they didn't want to come to class. it's like a school and they were worried. one girl didn't want to come because ben wouldn't be there. there was a lot of anxiety. ben would have been sitting right here on this carpet with me. so when the kids bring it up that my friend ben died, i had to do the attendance, we have attendance sign in pages for the parents. they have to sign them in and out. as i was putting them in the box last night, the first grade page had ben's name on it. i thought, this is going to be hanging on the hall wall with
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his name on it, and he wouldn't be signed in. so i printed it with his name off. and when i talked to the pastor about it, it really hit me, i erased his name. >> this one says charlotte is safe. >> yes. that was for charlotte who went here. >> charlotte was 6 years old. another card reads in part you're not alone. vogelman says she felt pride, a strength she saw in her sunday school children. >> i've been working with kids my whole adult life. they're my kids, they're my kids. people on facebook are like, i'm so glad your kids are okay. i'm offyously very kids that my kids are not okay, but my kids are not okay, my kids died, that's how everyone feels in newtown.
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sorry. they're babyies. >> i mean, faced with that horrible dilemma whether to take the child's name off the board, how is she doing through all this. >> taking that name down, that's been the moment for her. everyone's had a moment. the way she's getting through it is strangely enough the children themselves, their honesty, they know they have to be strong for these children. receiving all these kind words from people all over the world, that's been a source of encouragement. she was wondering what she was going to do for the lesson today, what she was going to say to these children. she got a kind letter from someone from littleton colorado, from the clergy there, they obviously have been through a lot. only when you have been through it, can you offer the advice to get through it this time. >> hopefully her faith is getting her through as well.
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remarkable. we'll be right back. there's a health company that can help you stay that way. what's healthier than that?
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